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4/20/2004
Weiner spearheads county's 1st "bark park"

Tuesday, April 20 , 2004
A place for dogs, and people
NCCo opens a new, fenced-in 'bark park' in Brandywine Hundred
By MELISSA TYRRELL
Bear Bureau reporter
04/20/2004

Buddy, a border collie, can't control his excitement when he hears his owner sing, "Going to the Dog Park," to the tune of Smokey Robinson's "Going to a Go Go."

Buddy wags his tail, scampers and may even drool. He knows that song means a good car ride, the kind that doesn't end up at the groomer or vet but at Talley-Day Park.

Karen Gallanaugh has found it easier to get her 4-month-old fluffy show pup into the car since they started visiting the new fenced-in "bark park" at the back of the Talley-Day grounds, off Foulk Road.

"There should be more of these," Gallanaugh said as Buddy let loose Friday afternoon.

New Castle County's Talley-Day dog park is the first fenced-in area for dogs in the state. Carousel Park, off Limestone Road, also has a bark park, but it is not fenced.

The park includes a small, gated entrance cage with water fountains for people and dogs, and two large fenced areas for the dogs to run free. One area to be restricted to small dogs only is not open yet. Susan Amadio, spokeswoman for the county's special services department, said a grand opening will be held at 11 a.m. May 20.

The only major rule is that dog owners must clean up after their dogs.

So far, there have been no aggressive fights, just playful teasings, said Judy Freedman, who walks Colby, her Labrador-collie mix, to the park from the nearby Chatham subdivision. She said she feels safer letting Colby roam there rather than near a busy road or parking lot.

"It's perfect," she said. "It's important for dogs to socialize."

New Castle County Councilman Robert Weiner, who said he pushed the county to create the dog area, has visited the past three Saturdays with his miniature pinscher, Morgan. Weiner said Morgan now runs back and forth at the front door whenever Weiner puts on his "play clothes."

Weiner said he'd like the county to install benches inside the park for people to sit down and chat. He has sometimes stayed there several hours while Morgan socializes. Visitors are starting to leave balls, Frisbees and plastic bags for other visitors, he said.

Gallanaugh said the park has helped her get to know more neighbors. While Buddy makes his own friends and works out his energy, she trades tips on obedience classes and supply stores with other dog lovers.

"They're having a blast," she said Friday afternoon, watching her dog run alongside a bustling bunch, including Colby, a chocolate Labrador, a Jack Russell terrier and a brindled boxer. Each time they come there from her home in Shipley Farms, she has noticed Buddy gallop along the sidelines like a referee - his herding instincts already emerging.

"They're born in litters, and they need this," she said.

Reach Melissa Tyrrell at 838-3189 or mtyrrell@delawareonline.com.




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